Attending court as a witness - can I get out of it?
Hi people, I'm after a bit of advice here please!
So I witnessed a fight between two brothers last September ater a night out to celebrate a friends birthday. It wasn't a particulary bad fight to be honest, no one was badly injured and the cops were called out of panic really. And as it happens, the two brothers are friends again now!
Anyway, I gave a statement to the police but later retracted it. The other day I received a letter saying that I need to go to court on the 10th of March. To be perfectly honest, I could really do without the hassle at the moment. I'm really trying to keep my head above water so to speak with regard to my depression and just do NOT want any unnecessary stress. Am I right to feel like this? I mean, surely my health is more important than going court about a poxy fight between two drunken lads?!
I was thinking of asking my GP to give me a letter/certificate saying I'm unfit or whatever to attend. I'm just unsure as to whether I'd get one? I'm diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (for which I'm the process of getting started on Lithium), I see my GP and psych regulary and lately I have been struggling with bad suicidal thoughts and urges to SH/OD (which I have acted on several times in the past). Is that enough of a reason tobe excused or whatever?
I'm sure my GP will sort it for me, she's really good to me and certainly would not want to see me slip backwards again, and I sure as hell don't want that either. I've been doing quite well recently and I just can't risk letting anything **** it up for me, you know?
Sorry, bit of a silly question really, I'm being a bit of a stess head! But yeah, any advice at all would be greatly appreciated.
yeah i got out of jury duty for mental health issues. you should be fine. why is it going to court if they've made up, just out of curiosity?
I was thinking the exact same thing! I think they've charged him with another similar offence, so it must be something to do with that? I need to call them regarding it anyway so I will ask them then. I'm pretty pissed off about all of this to be honest, I don't need the hassle, which is why I retracted my statement in the first place.
Anyway, thanks for the replies and advice about getting a doctor's note, I'm just worried incase she refuses to give me one and says that I'm ok to go. But I'm sure that given my current situation she wont refuse... I hope!
The letter is from the court. It just says that I'm required to go to court and has a form for me to fill in to confirm that I will be attending. I don't think there's a summons, thats what you get if you don't turn up right?! I feel dumb now!
I've had a quick look on the website but it didn't seem to say much about mental/long standing illness so I thought that I might as well ask here. Right, I need to contact my GP asap then really.
yeah for me they said i didn't have to go to jury duty cause it could negatively impact my mental health. it didn't have to do with whether i was competent or not. but i live in the u.s. so it may be different.
I think you'll need a doctors note and then need to contact the clerk of the court.
Also if you did end up having to appear in court (don't think you will, but still) you should be entitled to have special measures in place due to your mental illness. This could be having a screen around you (like i did), doing it via live where you'd be in another room or in some circumstancesgiving evidence as private.
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I called the witness support officer that sent me the letter and she said to go ahead and get a doctor's certificate. So I then spoke to my GP who said that she had no problems at all with sorting that for me, so that was a relief! My GP is so awesome!
The only problem is though that they might decide to adjourn the case rather than excuse me, but hopefully that wont be the case. My GP is going to say that I'm 'unstable' or whatever, so hopefully that will be enough to get me out of it.
Bloody hassle! Anyway, thank you all for the replies and advice.